Ramsey Cnty. v. MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., No. 13-3026 (8th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
The Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) is a national electronic registry that does not originate, assign, or service mortgages, but charges a fee when members record or transfer a mortgage on the registry. Initially, mortgages are recorded with the county recorder and MERS becomes the mortgagee of record. With subsequent transfers, MERS remains the mortgagee of record in county property records, but tracks the transfers for priority purposes on its registry. Transfers of mortgages are not recorded in the county where the property is located. Counties brought a class action, alleging that Lenders violated Minnesota law by allowing mortgagees to circumvent recordation in the counties. The district court dismissed, finding no duty to record a mortgage assignment under Minnesota law. The Eighth Circuit affirmed that the recording statute is not mandatory and declined to certify the question to the Minnesota Supreme Court.